Intro to Twitter for Attendees at the 94th Annual AACC 2014 Conference

For the first time in a few years I will not be attending the American Association of Community Colleges Conference.  It conflicts with the Ellucian Live Conference this year and I will be presenting at Ellucian Live.  AACC has always been a great event for this  “wee acorn” to mingle with the “giant oaks” of my profession.  When I get to mingle with a couple thousand of my closest friends  at events such as AACC I always hope to pick up a little of their savvy and experience.  Although, I will not be there live, I will be watching the twitter feed and I will be pushing out some tips for effectively using Twitter at a conference or event.  I also will be logging data on Twitter usage  which I will be comparing to activity  at  AACC’s 93rd Annual Conference in 2013 as shown below

AACC annual 2013 twitter data

AACC annual 2013 twitter data

One of the best ways I have found to engage at events is via social media.  To do this effectively there are a few steps you can take to prepare.  I will be posting a few tips on doing this over the next week beginning with this post  customized for AACC 94th confence.

Introduction to Twitter

Twitter is referred to as a microblogging tool.  It lets users post short comments (the limit is 140 characters at length) for people who follow their Twitter feeds. You decide what to read, by say, signing up for news feed or following:

  1. Experts in a given field
  2. Celebrities
  3. CEO’s
  4. Companies
  5. Friends
  6. Co-WorkersTwitter has more than 200 million monthly active users and is growing. When Twitter filed its IPO prospectus, it said its user base had grown 44% from a year earlier. But that growth rate was down from 78% from the previous 12 month period.   It’s only when you sign up to follow folks that posts will show up on your own Twitter page.

Getting Started with Twitter

Step 1:  Get a Twitter account If you already have a Twitter account, skip to step #2

  1. Go to
  2. Fill in your name, email and create a password and click Sign up.
  3. Create your Twitter handle/username — think of who you are and what you will represent with this username.
  4. For a quick intro review the video below

Step 2: Follow The Conference Hashtag!

What is a Hashtag?

Hashtag Definition

  1. Login to your Twitter account.
  2. Click the Connect button at the top of the screen
  3. Search for the following Twitter handles  or hashtag by typing the username in the box next to the search button and then clicking on Search:
  4. AACC conference hastag  = #aaccannual
  5. Two key twitter handles to watch for this event are  @comm_college & @aacc annual

    Hashtags are already flying around even though the conference is over a week away as shown below:aaccannual 2014 preconference hashtag usage

Step 3 Start Tweeting

“Smart Phone or Mobile Device”  – If you have a phone or mobile device with a marketplace for apps, download the Twitter app.

“PC or Laptop” –

  1. Go to
  2. Login
  3. Let the tweeting begin

Don’t know what to tweet?

Start with:

  1. What are you doing? Where?
  2. What are you learning? From whom?
  3. If you’re in a conference session and see a great hyperlink…tweet it.
  4. Share, Share, Share

Tweet what you learned or examples:

  1. Great #aaccannual Opening Session Key point of talk was….
  2. Thanks @aaccannual  for the great info on……


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